3 Most Effective Baseball Drills
By Joseph King
, last updated January 29, 2012
To be a great all around baseball player, you need to drill in the three areas that make up the game: hitting, pitching, and fielding. Baseball, more so than almost any other major sport, is a game of specific skills rather than one about brute strength or raw athletic ability. Without the proper drilling to develop your skills, it is very difficult to succeed in baseball. To help you succeed, here are listed three of the most effective baseball drills.
You can’t score runs in baseball without being able to hit. Being able to hit is about having perfect mechanics with your swing and being able to repeat those mechanics every time you are up to the plate. One of the best drills to develop your swing is to take a bat and stand less than a bat length away from a fence. A perfect baseball swing should be short and compact as it moves through the zone, lengthening out only after contact with the ball has been made. Begin slowly at first, taking swings and practicing keeping your arms compact until you have made it past the fence. Continue to pick up the pace until you are taking full speed swings without hitting the fence. You can move closer or further away to simulate pitches that are on the inside of outside part of the plate. When first starting out it is a good idea to use a broom stick cut to the length of a bat so that if you make contact with the fence it is not damaged.
To be an ace on the mound, the key is control. One of the most overlooked aspects of control is the wind up itself. If a pitcher is not stepping properly during the windup, he will not be able to throw strikes consistently and may make himself more vulnerable to injury. To make sure a pitcher is lifting their leg properly, place a folding chair near the pitching rubber on the same side as the pitcher’s throwing arm. During the wind up the leg should not make contact with the chair. If it does, this means that the pitcher is either opening up too soon or stepping crookedly, both of which can cause injury, sap velocity, and cause wildness.
No matter what position you field on the baseball diamond, arm strength is a key to playing it well. Long toss is one of the simplest and most effective drills for increasing arm strength. Many college and professional players use the long toss to prepare and warm up for games. For younger athletes it can be used to develop arm strength. Begin close to one another and move gradually. Don’t rush the process of separation; you should make sure your arm gets used to each distance before moving on to the next one. As you get further out, focus on putting arc on the ball so that it can reach the target. Once you are about 150 feet apart you should crow hop with every throw so that you aren’t relying solely on your arm. Always listen to your arm and never continue to throw through pain or discomfort.